Sim K. Katende

Sim K. Katende

Partner, Head Corporate and Commercial Department


+256-414-233770 / 233908


  • Columbia University – Master of Laws (LL.M) with Distinction – 1999
  • Chief Justice Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Awarded Sidney O. Friedmann Fellowship
  • Makerere University – Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) (Hons) – 1998
  • Twice Dean’s List Scholar at Makerere University
  • ‘Winner’ – The Third All Africa Moot Court Competition
  • ‘Best Oralist’ – The Third All Africa Moot Court Competition
  • President – Makerere Law Society 
  • Founding President – Federation of East African Law Students Association (FEALSA) 
  • Ministry of Justice State Scholar For (best overall student) at UACE A-levels and securing a perfect examination score
  • New York State Board of Law Examiners – Certification (Bar course) – 1999
  • Law Development Center – Post-Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice -1999
  • Centre For Arbitration & Dispute Resolution (CADER) – Mediator & Arbitrator’s Certification License Certification – 2002


  • Attorney and Counsellor at Law– State of New York, USA
  • Notary Public
  • Commissioner for Oaths
  • Advocate in the Republic of Uganda

Countries In Which Practiced

  • United States of America
  • South Africa
  • Uganda


  • International Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • East African Law Society
  • Uganda Law Society
  • Uganda Arbitration Society


  • Investment Promotion in Uganda: Are Tax Holidays Real Incentives To Investment?‘ Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Bachelor of Laws degree of Makerere University.
  • Guide to Taxation in Uganda, IFLR Review 2006.
  • ‘Gaining an understanding of Sarbenes-Oxley Act and its Implications in Africa’  2009


  • English
  • Luganda

Contact Me

    Sim is a Partner at the Firm and serves as the Head of KATS’ Banking & Finance, Corporate & Commercial, Energy, Oil & Gas, M&A, Capital Markets and TMT practices.

    Sim is widely acknowledged and internationally recognized as one of the leading transactional lawyers in East Africa. He boasts of over 25 years’ multi-jurisdictional practice experience having worked in New York in the USA, South Africa and Uganda.

    Sim works collaboratively with global and emerging corporate leaders to execute complex transactions and achieve tax-efficient growth. Sim provides high-level insight into all aspects of complex transactions and brings clarity to time-sensitive and nuanced deals and issues.

    Sim has worked closely with most of the leading commercial law firms in East Africa, South Africa and the United Kingdom including most of the magic circle firms and has developed an excellent working relationship with many of the key transactional lawyers in these firms. He is known for strengthening bargaining positions and moving deals forward by understanding interests of all parties and all moving parts of complex transactions.

    Sim has structured, negotiated, and executed landmark multimillion-dollar deals and financial transactions in Uganda and East and sub-Saharan Africa in the fields of: Capital Markets, Banking & Finance, Technology, Media & Telecommunication, Insurance, Private Equity, PPPs & Project Finance, Energy, Oil & Gas and Mergers & Acquisitions.

    Having handled some of the largest and most cutting-edge transactions in Uganda, Sim has become a go-to advisor for several local and multinational companies with new and unusually complex or large-scale transactions in the region.

    Clients have come to rely on him to provide thoughtful analysis, plain English explanations of complex legal issues and to find creative solutions focused on overall business objectives.

    Sim is licensed to practice law as an Attorney and Counsellor-at-law in the State of New York as well as an Advocate, Commissioner for Oaths and a Notary Public in Uganda.

    Sim is also certified as a Commercial Arbitrator and Mediator by the Ugandan Center for Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADER).

    Sim sits on the boards of local entities of several multinational companies in Uganda, he is a member of the Uganda Law Society’s Continuing Legal Education Committee and an external examiner and guest lecturer at the Law Development Centre in Kampala, Uganda.  He also spends a large amount of time mentoring and training young lawyers.

    Sample Professional Accolades

    Sim has consistently been internationally ranked as a Star Band 1 Transactional Lawyer by:

    Chambers and Partners Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers

    ” Sim is widely acknowledged as a leading light in corporate and commercial mandates, spanning a broad range of sectors including energy, oil and gas, infrastructure and banking. One source valued his “brilliant mind,” commending him as “approachable, agile and a great lawyer.”

    Chambers and Partners Global Guide to the World’s Leading Lawyers, 2020 Edition

    • In the 2024 Edition, it was noted that Band 1 lawyer Sim Katende is a distinguished corporate lawyer based in Kampala, with particularly extensive experience in M&A and capital markets. He has further expertise spanning the Energy, oil and gas and TMT sectors.
    • The 2019 Edition stated that Sim is a very smart and exceptionally intelligent lawyer.
    • In the 2018 Edition, it was noted that Sim has been involved in may high-value international cases; sources describe him as among the “seasoned and respected” lawyers who lead the market.
    • In the 2017 Edition, Sim is recognised for his expertise in commercial transactions, and it is noted that he has experience advising on investments and financing transactions, particularly as regards the natural resources and telecom sectors. Sources say: “Sim is bright, effective and has a good reputation, and is very busy.”
    • In the 2016 Edition, it was observed that; sources highlight Sim Katende’s ability to provide “practical solutions to problems.” One commentator added: “I find him to be one of the most brilliant lawyers in the market.”
    • In the 2015 Edition, the Guide stated that “Transactions expert Sim Katende heads the firm’s Corporate and Commercial department. He frequently handles market-leading M&A deals and is praised for his responsiveness and hard work.”
    • In the 2014 Edition, it was stated that, “Sim Katende heads the firm’s Corporate and Commercial department and is the key contact for transactional and securities related advice. He is a top choice for mandates with an international dimension, and is praised for his responsiveness.
    • The 2013 Edition lauded Sim Katende as a highly regarded transactional lawyer, with considerable experience in tax matters. He is described as ‘very commercial‘ and ‘a guy who gets things done.’
    • The 2012 Edition noted “Corporate specialist Sim Katende is ‘a deal maker who knows how to get things done.’ “
    • The 2011 Edition observed that ‘ The firm was singled out as a good choice for foreign companies looking to do business in Uganda, and this reputation is reflected in the group’s impressive deals sheet: it advised China Development Bank on its UD112.5 million facility to Warid Telecom Uganda, and acted for a Supermajor on the merger and acquisition of Chevron’s assets in Uganda. Sim Katende led both those transactions and is a ‘vibrant, down-to-earth,eloquent lawyer who always produces results.’
    • In the 2010 Edition, Sim receives unanimously positive feedback with clients describing him as ‘absolutely ace – he’s incredibly quick at working through problems and providing outstanding and innovative advice.
    • According to the 2009 Edition, Sim Katende is regarded by market sources as one of the ‘next generation of leaders’ and is a flourishing presence at the firm. He has been handling a lot of the firm’s workload: ‘Work has his signature all over it’ one peer commented, whilst clients regard him as ‘excellent, switched on and particularly good at handling securitisations.’

    IFLR 1000

    Ranked as a Star Transaction Lawyer by IFLR 1000: Guide to the World Leading Financial Law Firms:

    • Sim is ranked as a ‘highly regarded‘ lawyer in the 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018 Editions.
    • He is ranked as a leading transactional lawyer in the 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 Editions.

    “the most respected lawyer...he really is very, very professional and a very rare lawyer”

    IFLR 1000: Guide to the World Leading Financial Law Firms 2013 Edition

    • In the 2012 Edition a commentator noted that ’Sim Katende is the man, they (the firm) have a very good work stream.’
    • In the 2011 Edition, in highlight M & A deals, it was noted that Sim Katende advised Warid Telecom Uganda and its main shareholders (Warid Telecom and Warid Uganda Holding) on a multi million dollar sale of a majority interest to Essar Group. Sim was lauded as a leading lawyer.
    • In the 2010 Edition, one client stated, ‘Sim Katende is a very bright guy, certainly one of the brightest lawyers in Uganda.’
    • In the 2009 Edition, Sim was recognized for his invaluable contribution to the market.

    Legal 500

    • Sim is ranked as a Leading Individual by the 2019 Edition of the Legal 500.

    Uganda Female Lawyers Committee

    Special lifetime recognition for mentoring of female lawyers 2018/ 2019

    Issued by Uganda Female Lawyers Committee

    Sample Transactions

    • Advised China Development Bank on various loan projects including multi-million dollar facilities to Warid Telecom Uganda and the East African Development Bank (EADB).
    • Advised Trade and Development Bank (TDB), formerly Eastern and Southern Africa Development Bank (PTA Bank) on numerous large loan transactions including one to Kampala Cement Company.
    • Advised Africa Development Bank (ADB) on a credit facility to Housing Finance Bank Limited.
    • Advised Agence Francais de Development (AFD) on all the legal and transactional requirements for its multi-million dollar loan to National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC).
    • Advised SwedFund International Akitebolag on its loan guarantee arrangement to Micro Uganda Ltd.
    • Advised ICICI Bank UK PLC on its multi-million dollar loan facility to Borelli Tea Holdings.
    • Advised a number of International Investment Banks on issues relating to the derivatives market in East Africa including Goldman Sachs International, BNP Paribas, Barclays Bank PLC, Credit Suisse International, Standard Chartered Bank PLC, Opportunity Bank.


    • Advised on the demutualisation of the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE)

    Bond Listings

    • Lead legal advisor to African Development Bank on the largest bond listing on the Uganda Securities Exchange worth Billions of shillings.
    • Lead legal advisor to Trade and Development Bank (TDB) formerly Eastern and Southern Africa Development Bank (PTA Bank) on its Billion Shilling Bond Listing on the Uganda Securities Exchange.
    • Legal advisor to TDB on the Ugandan aspects of its Billion Euro Medium Terrn Note Programme.
    • Lead legal advisor to Banque Commericale du Rwanda on the introduction of a listing on the Rwanda Over-The-Counter (OTC) Market. This was the first capital-raising transaction of its nature in Rwanda.
    • Lead legal advisor to PTA TDB on its Medium Term Note listing on the Rwanda Securities Exchange.
    • Lead legal advisor to DFCU Bank Limited on all aspects of its then proposed Billion Shilling Bond Issue on the Uganda Securities Exchange. The proposed listing was eventually halted as the bank decided to merge with the management company.
    • Legal Advisor to Housing Finance Company of Uganda Limited, East African Development Bank and National Social Security Fund on the structuring of the proposed first mortgage based securitisation in East Africa.
    Equity Listings on the Uganda Securities Exchange  
    • Advised Centum Investment Company Limited on its cross border listing on the USE.
    • Advised Equity Bank Limited on its cross border listing on the USE.
    • Advised Kenya Airways on its cross border listing on the USE.
    • Lead legal advisor to DFCU Bank Ltd on its initial public offering and listing of its shares on the USE the largest listing in Uganda's history as at that date.
    • Led a team that conducted a due diligence exercise on Nile Bank Limited on its proposed IPO prior to its eventual acquisition by Barclays Bank of Uganda Limited.
    • Advisor to the Government of Uganda on the development of a multi-billion dollar oil refinery - the first of its kind in Uganda.
    • Advised a Supermajor ("Big Oil") entity on its Billion dollar acquisition of an oil concession from Tullow oil.
    • Advised a Supermajor on the acquisition of all the fuel stations and business of Chevron (trading as Caltex Oil) in Uganda.
    • Advised Puma Energy on its proposed acquisition of Kenolkobil, the largest company in East Africa, a transaction worth over Billions of dollars.
    • Advised Triton Petroleum Limited on its proposed acquisition of the business and assets of Petro Uganda Limited and conducted a due diligence for this project.
    • Advised ABSA on its acquisition of a 100% stake in Barclays Bank Uganda as part of the group effort to streamline the African operations of Barclays and ABSA- a multi-billion dollar transaction.
    • Advised Equity Bank on its 100% acquisition of Uganda Microfinance Limited, a Tier II mircrofinance company, at the time the largest microfinance institution in Uganda.
    • Advised RCL Foods on its joint venture with Hudani Manji to form HHM-Rainbow the largest processor of chicken in Uganda and East Africa.
    • Advised the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) in its bid to purchase a majority stake in Rwanda’s largest and oldest commercial Bank – Commercial Bank of Rwanda.
    • Advised Wal-Mart, the world’s largest public company, when it acquired Massmart, a South African store chain with seventeen (17) representative stores in Africa on all aspects of the acquisition of the Uganda subsidiary of Massmart, a transaction valued in Millions of dollars.
    • Advised Mcleod Russel- the world's largest tea growing company, on its Million dollar purchase of Tea plantations owned by James Finlays Limited in Uganda.
    • Advised 8 Miles, a UK based private equity fund on its Million dollar investment in a poultry project in Uganda
    • Advised Emerging Capital Partners on its acquisition of Phoenix Uganda Limited.
    • Advised Progression Capital Africa, a Mauritius based fund on its acquisition of a key stake in Finance Trust Bank Uganda Limited.
    • Advised Capital Works Investment Fund on their investment and share acquisition in Quality Chemicals Industries Limited, East Africa's leading ARV drug manufacturer, a transaction worth Millions of dollars.
    • Advised CDC on its acquisition of GEMS International schools.
    • Advised IMG group on the sale of a majority stake to a Mauritian based private equity fund.
    • Advised Warid Telecom on its multi-million dollar acquisition by Bharti Airtel - the largest M & A transaction in Uganda’s telecommunications sector history
    • Advised American Towers Corporation (ATC), the world’s largest telecom tower operator, on its acquisition of over 1000 base stations from MTN Uganda a member of a pan-African mobile operator MTN Group. This transaction was reported as being worth $ 300 000 000 US dollars;
    • Advised Telkom SA, South Africa’s largest fixed-line phone operator, on its acquisition of Africa Online and subsequent integration to IWayAfrica;
    • Advised Warid Telecom on its Million dollar sale of its tower business to Eaton Towers.
    • Advised American Towers Corporation on the acquisition of the tower business of Sure Telecom
    • Advised another telecom provider on its corporate restructuring regarding another investor aiming to purchase a minority stake in the operator for Millions of dollars.
    • Advised AFSAT communications on its merger with Africa Online.
    • Advised VTEL Limited on its proposed acquisition of majority shareholding of one of the leading telecommunications companies in Uganda.
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